What does 'Settlement Cracks' mean when buying a property?
Find out what Settlement Cracks means when you are buying a property. 'What does Settlement Cracks mean?' plus over 150 other property related terms and jargon in plain English
This can refer to both new and old properties. With new properties the cracks are only visible inside the property with cracks appearing in the plaster as the block settles. Cracks less than 1-3mm wide are quite normal.
On period properties settlement cracks can be much wider (over 1 cm) and can also be caused by subsidence or heave so its important to know the exact cause. Cracks can be clearly visible on the interior and exterior walls.
If the cause of the cracks is of no concern (such as normal annual movement of the property up and down then the cracks on the exterior walls should be filled to make sure the property does not suffer penetrating damp.
Note a large crack on a period property may not be serious as it can relate to movement decades ago. If in doubt ask a structural engineer to inspect.
To learn everything you need to know about property movement and other issues that may come up when purchasing a property pick up a copy of my ebook How to Really Buy a Property.